In case you haven’t heard, Boise State has a vacancy at head coach. And in case you weren’t aware, Kellen Moore is a deity there, having built a record-shattering career as the team’s quarterback before going on to not-so-green pastures as a signal-caller in the NFL. He’s certainly having a lot of success as the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator though, and it’s led to a second consecutive year in which his name has been circled by a collegiate program. The first was in 2019 when he and the University of Washington flirted with the idea of adding him to the Huskies as their OC, and this time it’s his beloved Broncos eyeing him from afar.
Moore opted to remain with the Cowboys as one of the few incumbents impressive enough to warrant a nod on Mike McCarthy’s new coaching staff, and he again had the team’s offense ranked No. 1 in yardage before losing Dak Prescott to a season-ending injury. That’s the type of proficiency Boise State is thirsting for, and to have it come packaged as the school’s crown prince would be all the sweeter.
Sources tell CBS Sports an interview has not yet taken place between Moore and his alma mater, but the two have had at least one informal discussion to gauge his potential interest. As for what this might mean for the future of the Cowboys offense if Moore does take the gig, McCarthy is walking the line between praise, respect, and hoping he doesn’t lose his best assistant coach.
“As far as Kellen’s opportunity — or potential opportunity — it’s really not for me to speak on,” he said of the rumors following the Cowboys dismantling of the Eagles in Week 16. “I think that’s something that he’ll ultimately speak on. Like I was asked the other day, every opportunity’s unique to the individual. I can only tell you that we think the world of Kellen.
“He’s done an incredible job here.”
Moore is not under contract beyond the 2020 season, a separate source confirmed to CBS Sports, adding to his leverage in the situation.
There’s a lot for Moore to process as he mulls his future, to say the least. He’s had terrific success with Prescott and vice versa, and the two-time Pro Bowler is on track to be 100 percent healthy in time for offseason conditioning — setting the duo up for what could be another prolific season in Dallas (and one that could see the team turn the postseason corner). That said, his affection for Boise State is both well-known and justified, as a former Heisman Trophy finalist (2010) who racked up a list of awards, including having the Quarterback of the Year Award renamed after him in 2012; after Moore won it in both 2010 and 2011 before entering the NFL as an undrafted signing of the Detroit Lions.
Quiet as it’s kept, there’s also the matter of where he currently coordinates — namely the most visible sports franchise on the planet — giving him his best shot at landing a position as an NFL head coach in the near future, currently in position to become the next Sean McVay or Kyle Shanahan at the professional level. Returning to Boise State takes him out of that NFL limelight in a major way, and would make it more challenging to reinsert himself into that conversation.
That isn’t to say rebirthing the Broncos would be of no consequence, because it would garner him a ton of attention in and of itself, but it would halt the progression of his NFL experience, and on a center stage franchise. It’s this line of thinking that likely led him to pass on the offer from the University of Washington, among other things, but that was admittedly for an OC position, as compared to having a shot at being head honcho at a school that reveres him like no other.
Also, if Jerry Jones wants to write the bigger check, he can — without getting a cramp in his wrist.
What Moore decides to do will be a key focus of the Cowboys in the next few days/weeks, and whatever he decides, he’ll have the adoration of McCarthy and everyone within the organization — many having seen him climb from being a backup QB with the Cowboys to quarterbacks coach to a successful coordinator in short order. As it stands, they’re as prepared for him to stay as they are for him to leave, knowing the latter is a very real possibility.
“I definitely respect and understand the uniqueness of this opportunity to Boise and himself and his family,” McCarthy said. “I think at the right time, that’s really for Kellen and Boise State to speak on. I’ve probably said too much already. But we think the world of him.”
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